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Published Date: Dec 28, 2011

Development projects are planned without considering the human and environmental

Sustainable development
can only be achieved by putting people and environment at the heart of
development process in Pakistan,
said SDPI experts during a briefing for the students and academics from
Sustainable Development Study Centre (SDSC) of Government
College University,
Lahore, who
visited SDPI here on Wednesday. They also stressed on collaboration between
universities and research institutions for academic research on different
aspects of sustainable development.

Arshad H. Abbasi, Senior
Advisor, Water and Energy, SDPI shared SDPI work related to food insecurity,
water, energy and environment. He said often development projects are planned
without considering the human and environmental aspects and subsequently such
development process results into disastrous consequences for both people and
environment. He said ‘New Muree Project’ by Musharraf regime was an
environmental disaster which was technically challenged by SDPI research
reports. He said SDPI research and advocacy work created awareness and mobilization
of stakeholders and finally Supreme Court of Pakistan took sue motto notice and
ordered abandoning of this project. ‘SDPI saved 34000 acre ancient conifer
forest reserve which acts as monsoon rains harvester for the water and
environmental needs of this area’ he added. Abbasi also shared some of other
recognized work of SDPI such as consolidated work on Indus Waters Treaty and
protection of Himalayan glaciers. He briefed on SDPI recent report on
performance of KESC which was acknowledged by Deputy Chairman Planning
Commission, KCCI and other independent organizations amply proving the
technical strength of SDPI.

Shakeel Ahmad Ramay,
Senior Research Associate, Climate Change Study
Center, SDPI highlighted Pakistan’s and
SDPI’s role in various national and international debates on climate change and
sustainable development. He said Pakistan is actively negotiating in
international forums which currently focusing on ‘green economy’ and
‘institutional framework for sustainable development’. He clarified that these
approaches are just an instrument to achieve the sustainable development. He
informed SDPI is a pro-people independent think tank which, during its 20 years
of existence,have been providing strong research-based policy and technical
inputs to the government and international forums on various aspects of
sustainable development and very lately with a particular reference to climate
change.

Faisal Nadeem Gorchani, of SDPI deliberated on historical context of national public
policy making process in the country and role of research institutions such as
SDPI. He said crisis of non-representative governments and their deep
penetration into economic, social, political and other institutions have
created a strong culture of non-participatory, non-consultative and
non-transparent public policies which eventually benefitted the ruling elites
and market forces at the cost of its people especially vulnerable and
marginalized sections of society. ‘Research institutions in Pakistan have
always struggled to protect public interest through their policy research and
advocacy, networking, lobbying and, social and political movements and this
struggle goes on aiming people’s supremacy over country’s decision-making and
implementing institutions’ he added.